On September 17th at 4pm in the UAA Recital Hall, SSMF Artistic Director and cellist Zuill Bailey and pianist Susan Reed will perform Michael Daugherty’s four movement piece, “Tales of Hemingway,” which won the Grammy for classical instrumental solo, classical compendium and contemporary classical composition.
Daugherty shared the following about his piece:
“Tales of Hemingway evokes the turbulent life, adventures and literature of American author and journalist Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961). His terse, direct, accessible writing style combined with mastery of dialogue and brilliant use of omission and repetition, made him one of the most influential and original writers of the 20th century.”
Mvmt I: Big Two-Hearted River (Seney, Michigan, 1925) – “In this story, Nick Adams is an emotionally scarred and disillusioned soldier from World War I who treks to Northern Michigan for a camping-fishing trip to try to regain control of his life. I have composed serene and passionate music that evokes a leitmotif in Hemingway’s writing: his belief that one can be healed by the power of nature through exploring isolated outdoor terrains.”
Mvmt II:For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940, Spanish Civil War) – “Hemingway tells the tale of the last three days in the life of Robert Jordan, an American teacher turned demolition expert who has joined the anti-fascist Loyalist guerillas in Spain. Jordan accepts a suicide mission to blow up a bridge only to fall in love with Maria, a young Spanish woman of the Loyalist guerilla camp. The cello strums and plucks, leading the martyr’s march to battle the Fascists and to Jordan’s eventual death. As the chimes explode at the conclusion of the movement, the epitaph of the novel rings forth: ‘And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.'”
Mvmt III: The Old Man and the Sea (1952, Cuba) – “In Hemingway’s Nobel Prize-winning novella, Santiago is a poor, old fisherman whose luck changes when he takes his small boat deep into the Gulf Stream. After an epic struggle, he catches a gigantic marlin, the largest fish of his career. As he makes the long journey home, sharks relentlessly attack his boat and devour the marlin. As a musical response, I have composed an elegy to the struggle of life and death between man and nature. The cello represents the old fisherman’s journey as he searches for the truths of man’s existence with dignity and grace.”
Mvmt IV: The Sun Also Rises (1926, Pamplona, Spain) – “The main character in this ground-breaking novel is Jake Barnes, bitter and wounded by war, living in Paris as an unhappy expatriate journalist. Aimless in life, he makes a journey to the Festival in Pamplona, Spain. Along the way, he is joined by other adrift souls of the ‘Lost Generation,’ such as Lady Brett, a promiscuous divorcée with whom Barnes was involved before the war. For the final movement of the concerto, I have created an exciting and dramatic sound world where I imagine Jake Barnes, his entourage (and Hemingway) in Pamplona at the Fiesta, watching the running of the bulls and reveling in the spectacle of the bullfights. We also hear musical illuminations of the novel’s enigmatic epigraph, ‘the sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to the place where he arose.'”